Visit Olney



Overseas visitors




Olney, in the county of Buckinghamshire, attracts many overseas visitors - and we will be delighted to welcome you here!

Amongst the considerable crowd for the annual Pancake Race (held on Shrove Tuesday in February) you'll hear many different languages being spoken. The event is full of English colour. has arranged for a number of translators it is possible to hire - do email if you would like to arrange a tour/help while you are here and we will try and assist you.

For our American visitors in particular, the draw to Olney is the legacy of John Newton. His conversion to Christianity followed a great storm when he was a seafarer. He became the rector in Olney. A stained glass window in the church of St.Peter and St.Paul depicts his ship and also has his portrait as rector.

Having once been a slave-trader, his conversion turned him into a prominent voice in the abolitionist movement. He was also the author of one of the most beautiful hymns ever written: "Amazing Grace".

With the poet William Cowper, also resident in the town, he wrote the "Olney hymns". The current rector is delighted to welcome you if you'd like to join a service at Olney's St.Peter & St.Paul (as do the congregations of our 3 other churches, please see Information).

You may also like to know that while you are here, a trip to Bedford (only 11 miles away) will allow you to trace the life of John Bunyan, author of Pilgrims Progress who preached - and was imprisoned for his beliefs - in the town.You can find out more at the Cowper and Newton museum (which has an exhibition on slavery), the John Bunyan museum and Olney history links on the site. 

Wherever you come from we hope the site will entice you to pay us a visit here in Olney. Even if we said it before: Welcome! 

N.B to dial any number in Olney from abroad you need + 44 (country code) 1234 (area code) + number